Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Current Affairs Update - 21st December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs of 21 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains, IBPS Clerk Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 21st December, 2016
  1. Private lender HDFC Bank today signed an MoU with Bihar State Power Holding Company to enable residents pay electricity bill online.
  2. The Reserve Bank today imposed penalty on five foreign banks, including Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, for violation of its instructions on reporting requirements of the FEMA. The three other banks are: Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
  3. More than 25 lakh people in rural areas of the country have adopted digital modes of payments through 'Digi Dhan Abhiyan' programme, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) said on Tuesday.
  4. The Union Government on 20 December 2016 announced Rs 207 crore to undertake developmental works in Majuli Island in Assam.
  5. The Central government has approved construction of another 52,319 houses for urban poor, including 11,286 houses in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-Urban).
  6. India today conducted the flight test of indigenously-designed and developed long range subsonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha but there was no official word on reports that it had failed.
  7. The National Green Tribunal has decided to impose a fine of Rs 50000 on the airline whose aircraft empties its human waste tank while still being in the air.
  8. India in the third week of December 2016 was ranked 4th in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index. The cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of India is 25088 MW. The Index was topped by China, followed by USA and Germany.



Finance/Banking –

HDFC Links MoU For Online Electricity Bill Payments in Bihar


  • Private lender HDFC Bank today signed an MoU with Bihar State Power Holding Company to enable residents pay electricity bill online.
  • The MoU will allow residents of the state to pay electricity bills online in a quick and convenient manner by any debit card, credit card, or netbanking facility, from the comfort of their homes or offices, an HDFC statement said.
  • The initiative will benefit over 6 crore people in the state, it said.
  • HDFC Bank has 90 branches and 239 ATMs in Bihar.
  • Bihar State Power Holding Company generates, distributes and transmits electricity in the state.
  • As part of agreement, HDFC Bank will provide its electronic cash management platform for the payment of fee through RTGS, NEFT & Electronic Fund Transfer.


RBI imposes penalty on 5 foreign banks for violating FEMA norms


  • The Reserve Bank today imposed penalty on five foreign banks, including Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, for violation of its instructions on reporting requirements of the FEMA.
  • The three other banks are: Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • RBI said they have been fined for violation of its instructions on reporting requirements of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).
  • Germany's Deutsche Bank has been imposed fine of Rs 20,000, while Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered Bank have been fined Rs 10,000 each.


Digi Dhan Abhiyan: Over 25 lakh people in rural India adopt digital modes of payments


  • More than 25 lakh people in rural areas of the country have adopted digital modes of payments through 'Digi Dhan Abhiyan' programme, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) said on Tuesday.
  • Over 55,000 merchants have started offering digital payment options to rural customers across various districts and blocks in India, the ministry said in a statement.
  • Over 70 per cent of the rural citizens have adopted e-wallets, 16 per cent opted for Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and the rest looked at Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Adhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) and Cards/Point of Sale (PoS), the data with the ministry showed.
  • The 'Digi Dhan Abhiyan' aims to reach out to more than one crore rural citizens, cover two lakh Common Services Centres (CSC) in rural and semi-urban areas and also reach to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats across the country.


Union Government announced Rs 207 crore for development of Majuli Island


  • The Union Government on 20 December 2016 announced Rs 207 crore to undertake developmental works in Majuli Island in Assam.
  • The announcement was made by the Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh in New Delhi.
  • The sanctioned amount will be spent primarily for safeguarding the land loss due to erosion and to protect the 80 km length of the bank line on the right bank of river Brahmaputra.

Key facts related to Majuli Island
  • It was declared as India’s first Island district in June 2016 by the Assam Government.
  • It is a fluvial landform (a riverine delta), a unique geographical occurrence and a result of the dynamics of the Brahmaputra river system.
  • It is bounded by the river Subanisri and her tributaries on the North West, the kherkatia Suli in the northeast and the main Brahmaputra River on the South and the South west.


Centre approves another 52,319 houses under PMAY


  • The Central government has approved construction of another 52,319 houses for urban poor, including 11,286 houses in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-Urban).
  • "The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty yesterday approved construction of 52,319 houses for urban poor under PMAY (Urban) involving an investment of Rs 2,946 crore and the Central assistance of Rs 778 crore," an official release said today.
  • Besides Uttar Pradesh, 25,097 houses will be constructed in Madhya Pradesh, 8,941 in Chattisgarh, 3,805 in Maharashtra, 2,422 in Nagaland, 720 in Puducherry and 48 in Daman, it said.
  • With this, the Ministry has so far approved construction of a total of 13,43,805 houses for urban poor with an investment of Rs 72,781 crore and central assistance of Rs 19,633 crore.
  • It also gave nod to Uttar Pradesh's proposal for construction of 11,286 houses for urban poor in 34 towns involving investment of Rs 384 crore. The Centre will provide assistance of Rs 160 crore for these houses.
  • Uttar Pradesh was the 29th state to send proposals for construction of affordable houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-Urban).


India –

Subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay flight tested in Chandipur


  • India today conducted the flight test of indigenously-designed and developed long range subsonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha but there was no official word on reports that it had failed.
  • The sophisticated missile with a strike range of 1,000 km was test launched from a specially-designed launcher around noon from the launch complex-3 of the ITR near here, defence sources said.
  • Shortly after the launch, there were reports that the test had failed like most of the earlier launches.
  • Neither the Defence Ministry nor the DRDO, which is the agency involved in the launch, were ready to comment on the development.
  • They also refused to react to reports that the launch was a failure.
  • Powered by a solid rocket motor booster, ‘Nirbhay’ missile with a turbo-fan engine is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system.


NGT: Rs 50000 fine on aircrafts that empty human waste in air


  • The National Green Tribunal has decided to impose a fine of Rs 50000 on the airline whose aircraft empties its human waste tank while still being in the air.
  • The direction came on 20 December 2016, following a plea by a retired Lt. Gen Satwant Singh Dahiya who sought strict action against airlines for splattering human waste on houses near the IGI airport while landing. He termed the act as a health hazard and a violation of the Prime Minister’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ drive.

Key Highlights
  • The NGT has directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue notices to all the involved airlines to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation and to ensure that they do not release any waste from the tanks anywhere near the terminals of the IGI Airport. 
  • The decision was taken by a bench chaired by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar.
  • Though normally, the collected waste from the aircraft is disposed of by the ground staff after the plane lands, there are cases when there is a leak in the lavatory.
  • To ensure the implementation of the same, the DGCA will be conducting surprise inspections in airplanes once they land to check whether their human waste tanks are empty or not.
  • The aircraft found violating the direction will be subjected to pay the compensation amount.


OBC Ministry to be created in Maharashtra

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on 20 December 2016 announced that a separate Ministry will be created for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). This ministry will be headed by an independent minister.
  • The announcement was made at the concluding session of the Kunbi Mahotsav at Shahapur in Thane district of the state.
  • Besides, the Chief Minister also announced funds worth Rs 200 crore for gravity-based water supply projects. These projects will help in fulfilling the need of the town and surrounding areas.
  • He said that a policy will be prepared under which villages that provide land for dam projects would be entitled to the water from that project.
  • In addition to this, he also directed the Zila Parishad of Thane to prepare a tourist circuit plan for Murbad and Shahpur talukas. He assured that maximum funds will be provided for the development of the plan.


Indexes –

India ranks 4th in Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index


  • India in the third week of December 2016 was ranked 4th in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index. The cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of India is 25088 MW.
  • The Index was topped by China, followed by USA and Germany. The cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of China is 145362 MW. The cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of the USA is 74471 MW and that of Germany is 44947 MW.
  • The ranking were released on 19 December 2016 in the Global Wind Report: Annual Market update, which was launched by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

India and its wind power capacity
  • In 2015-2016, India installed 31472 solar pumps, which is higher than the total number of pumps installed during last 24 years. As of 31 October 2016, 92305 solar pumps have been installed in the country.
  • During 2016-2017, 51 MW installations of biomass power plants were achieved against a target of 400 MW.
  • During 2016-17, against a target of 1.00 lakh biogas plants, 0.26 lakh biogas plant installations have been achieved, making a cumulative achievement to 4.94 million biogas plants as of 31 October 2016.


Appointments –

Deepak Agarwal appointed CEO of Noida Authority

  • The Uttar Pradesh Government on 20 December 2016 appointed Deepak Agarwal, CEO of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), as the CEO of Noida Authority.
  • Deepak Agarwal will replace P K Agarwal, who was officiating as the CEO of Noida Authority. P K Agarwal was given the charge of Noida after the Uttar Pradesh Government relieved senior IAS officer Rama Raman from the post on 25 August 2016. However, P K Agarwal will continue to function as the additional CEO of Noida Authority.





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